28.04 - Sechseläuten in Zurich 4 PM @ KUNSTHAUS

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    On the third Monday in April the guilds of Zurich don their historical costumes and celebrate the traditional Sechseläuten festival with a procession through the streets of the city.

    The festival dates back to 1818, when one of the city’s first guilds held a night-time parade complete with musicians and horseback-riders. Other guilds followed suit and in 1839 the first coordinated Sechseläuten parade of all the guilds took place. These guilds, which had existed since the Middle Ages, were organisations grouping members of one craft or profession. The name “Sechseläuten”, which translates as “chiming six o’ clock”, goes back to a time when the arrival of spring meant more hours of daylight, allowing workers to toil until 6pm.

    The festivities open on the Sunday with a parade of children, mostly dressed in historical costume, through downtown Zurich. This is followed the next day by the parade of the guilds. The culmination of Monday’s festivities is the burning of the “Böög”, a giant artificial snowman, symbolising winter. The pyre is lit at precisely 6pm. The moment the Böögg’s head explodes marks the official end of winter. It is said that the quicker this happens, the longer and hotter the summer will be.

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